FBC Manby Bowdler has announced the creation of a new team dedicated to helping families protect their heritage assets.
Tom Devey, a Partner at the Firm and solicitor Fiona Sedgley will offer a specialist service to advise people on how they can prevent their families facing inheritance tax bills for fine art and antiques.
The pair are members of FBC Manby Bowdler’s Agricultural & Rural Services department, which was the only specialist legal team in the county to receive a top tier ranking in the 2015 Legal 500 guide that recommends the best law firms and lawyers in the UK.
Tom Devey explained why the firm has launched the new service. “Many farm and country houses have valuable contents which have been passed down through the generations.
"Understandably, people are keen that these items stay within the family’s ownership for future generations and don’t want them sold to pay inheritance tax bills,” he said.
“There are ways you can stop this happening. You can gift fine art and antiques to successors during your lifetime. As long as you live for seven years from the date of the gift and there has been no ‘reservation of benefit’ then the item will not attract inheritance tax.
“However, if you’ve gifted the item to someone but practically retained it for the use or enjoyment of it, you would be liable to pay inheritance tax.” The new team will be able to assist owners to avoid unwanted inheritance tax bills with valid legal agreements.
Tom said: “We can draw up a gift and leaseback arrangement where a donor can gift artwork or antiques and arrange to lease back the item while they are alive at around one per cent of its open market value.
“This means you can leave your fine art and antiques without having to remove them from your home and avoid a potential 40 per cent inheritance tax bill when you die.”
“The tax savings could be significant and should not be overlooked as part of your overall tax planning for the future. To draw up an arrangement that would satisfy Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, expert advice will also need to be taken from specialist accountants and valuers and we can help with that process.”